All eyes would on the Lok Sabha next week when it takes up a no confidence motion against the ruling BJP government at the Centre. The BJP would have no problem in defeating this motion as it has the majority on its own without the support of the alliance partners.
The non-confidence motion was moved by the Telugu Desam Party and the YSR Congress Party on the ground that the Centre had failed to provide special status to the state of Andhra Pradesh.
The no-confidence motion will be defeated no doubt, but it is still an interesting exercise as it sets the tone and combinations for the 2019 elections. It would be an exercise to show who stands with whom in the run up to the 2019 elections.
The TDP has broken away from the NDA while the rest of the alliance partners in the NDA have told the BJP that it is time to introspect. The Shiv Sena which is the oldest alliance partners has also been the most critical of the BJP. Shiv Sena boss, Udhav Thackeray would be meeting with his party MPs on what stand to take during the no-confidence vote.
For the Shiv Sena there are various issues that would be taken into consideration. Firstly can it afford to stay out of power in Maharashtra and secondly whether it could go in for a complete divorce ahead of the 2019 elections. In an editorial written in its mouthpiece, Saamna, it had predicted that in 2019, the BJP would lose 110 seats. The big question is whether it would back the motion in Parliament and if it does, it would have to also walk out of the government in Maharashtra.
The BJP is however confident that it would get the backing of the Sena. The Sena on its part also hinted that it may not back the motion. The party;s leader Sanjay Raut said that the TDP's decision pertains to local politics and it stemmed out of the competition with the YSR Congress.
The other party to watch out for is the AIADMK which has 37 MPs. The party would go all out to support the BJP in the Parliament if the Centre sets up the Cauvery Water Management Board. The Centre would need to re-think on this heavily. Any hasty decision in this regard could play out in Karnataka which goes to polls in the next two months. For now it looks as though the AIADMK would back the BJP and that was evident in the manner in which it caused disturbances in the Lok Sabha to prevent the motion from being taken up.
In the case of Naveen Patnaik's BJD, the situation looks quite clear for the BJP. The BJD which has grown closer to the BJP in recent months is unlikely to back the motion. The BJD had supported the BJP's candidate in the Presidential elections. Further the BJP would through Nitish Kumar coax Patnaik to defeat the motion. The fact that Naveen Patnaik was missing from the dinner hosted by Sonia Gandhi is also evident of the fact that he has tilted towards the BJP.
For now there is no threat what-so-ever to the BJP government. Apart from having its own individual strength it also has the backing of these parties:
- LJP (6)
- Akali Dal (4)
- RLSP (3)
- Apna Dal (2)
- JD-U (2)
- AINRC, JKPDP, NPP, PMK, SDF, Swabhimani Paksha (1 each)